Courtroom Chaos: Judge Threatens Trump Attorney With ‘Lockup,’ Former President Storms Out
Donald Trump is seen on January 26, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by GWR/Star Max/GC Images)
GWR/Star Max/GC Images via Getty Images

Chaotic scenes livened up proceedings in a New York federal court Friday in which former President Donald Trump faced a defamation case brought by writer E. Jean Carroll.

During the trial, the judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, threatened to put one of the former president’s attorneys in “lockup.” Later, Trump reportedly stormed out of the courtroom ahead of closing arguments, before later returning.

Just ahead of opening arguments in the case, Kaplan got into a dispute with Trump attorney Alina Habba over a slide that the Trump legal team wished to show to jurors. Carroll’s legal team objected to the slide, saying the contents were not entered into evidence, according to The Messenger.

Habba argued with Kaplan until he appeared to lose his patience.

“You are on the verge of spending some time in the lockup,” Kaplan told the attorney. “Sit down.”

Habba sat down immediately after, according to the New York Post.

Later in the trial, Trump “stormed out” of the courtroom minutes into closing arguments by Carroll’s legal team, according to the Post. Trump’s presence is not required in the courtroom for civil proceedings, unlike in a criminal case.

Kaplan made a note of the disturbance: “The record will reflect that Mr. Trump just rose and walked out of the courtroom.”

“Defense counsel are to remain seated,” the judge added.

Trump returned to the courtroom about an hour later in time to watch closing arguments from his own legal team, according to NBC News.


Trump has already been found liable for defamation in the case. Friday’s proceedings are to determine what amount of damages Carroll is owed. The 80-year-old writer has asked for $10 million, but during closing arguments, Carroll’s attorney increased the requested penalty to $24 million. The attorney said Trump deserved to pay Carroll “at least” that much, according to the Post.

Habba delivered closing arguments for Trump’s team, arguing that the case against the former president is misdirected. The case is over online trolls, and Trump should not be held liable for others’ behavior.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this isn’t about President Trump and E. Jean Carroll, this is about some people in their mother’s basements who will always be mean on social media, you can’t stop that,” Habba said, according to the Post.

The day before the trial, CNN legal expert Nick Ackerman predicted that Kaplan would have Trump “taken out” if the former president “steps one iota out of line.”

“I think the judge has already got the marshals lined up,” former prosecutor Ackerman said. “If [Trump] steps one iota out of line, he’s going to be taken out by the marshals.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Courtroom Chaos: Judge Threatens Trump Attorney With ‘Lockup,’ Former President Storms Out